Touristic Guidings to Glorious Nation of Kazahstan, and Touristic Guidings to Minor Nations of U.S. and A.

Posted: November 5, 2007 in Book Reviews

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It may be prudent to sidestep any questions as to taste, when it comes to the topic of Borat. If you can actually use the words “taste” and “Borat” in the same sentence, that is, without having to evoke a clause from the Geneva Convention or something.

Or, maybe I won’t evade the topic, actually, considering the profession I’m in (or studying to be in, to be more technical), and my hardline stance against censorship. But I will, in this case, tread lightly out of respect for the sensibilities I can understand being a little threatened by such an obnoxious character as Borat.

Objectionable humor notwithstanding, his book, or, more accurately, the book Sacha Baron Cohen’s character inspired, landed on my desk this morning. It came to me via Random House, whose publicity department sent it out to me for potential review on my other blog. However, no interview with Sacha Baron Cohen is likely to be forthcoming here. For one thing, he doesn’t need the publicity. For another, he’s out of my reach without benefit of some really Herculean effort, and frankly, I’m too busy right now for anything that single-minded and time consuming.

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I’ve seen the film inspired by Cohen’s character. I have a pretty tough hide, so it didn’t offend me, but that’s not the case for everyone. I wouldn’t even say I recommend the film, except to others similarly impervious to any kind of insult whatever. I’d recommend it to armadillos without equivocation, but to anyone else I’d probably pause a really long time before admitting what I personally thought of it. It’s just that weird, and unclassifiable. I know, there’s so much in it to offend, but it offends everyone pretty much equally. If you offend everyone equally, you essentially offend no one.

Or something like that.

Borat’s “travel guide” will be out in bookstores tomorrow. I’m one of the lucky (?) elect to have it in my hands today. If you enjoyed the film you’ll definitely enjoy the book. If you didn’t? Well, you may not want to put this one on your holiday list.

I hope you like very much!

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